Life, Once Again! - Chapter 227
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The man wearing the baseball cap stood up from his seat and walked forward . Maru got to have a close look at the man’s face . His beard wasn’t shaved, and his hair, from what could be seen below the baseball cap, wasn’t neat at all . The shirt and jeans he was wearing looked like he picked them up from a street stall . Despite that, Maru wasn’t able to take his eyes off him . This man was an actor he knew too well . He was a little confused at first due to the beard and the voice, but now that he saw him up close, he was able to confirm .
This man was Park Taeho . The man who won the leading actor’s role award in the Daejong awards last year . Maru pondered if this man was cast in this movie as well .
“Please give me a script . ”
Taeho got a copy of the script from Hoyoung and handed it over to Maru .
“Go to page 78 . ”
Maru did as he was instructed . Amidst the rows of lines written, there were three characters that caught his eyes: delinquent 1, delinquent 2, and delinquent 3 .
“Here, read this part . Don’t put any emotions in . ”
The part Taeho pointed to was delinquent 2’s line . It was a line that Maru had read several times in the book . ‘Man, your sorry ass has achieved nothing even after all these years . What kind of shit life have you been living, gramps?’ was there, without a change in wording .
“Man, your sorry ass has achieved nothing even after all these years . What kind of shit life have you been living, gramps?”
“I like that dry tone of yours . Then follow the stage directions and say that line disdainfully . ”
Taeho took a step back . Maru focused on the word ‘disdainfully’ . He pondered if he should mix in a bit of a disdainful smile . He first changed the one and said the line .
“Hm, you’re a total beginner . You don’t attend an academy or something like that?”
“I don’t . ”
“Really? That’s weird . Hyung-nim . This dude is really strange . The lines he just did gave him away as a newbie, but that soliloquy before was actually totally awesome . He even sounded mature . Is, is this even possible? I just don’t get it . ”
“If you’re done, then get out of the way . There’s still one more . ”
Hearing Junmin’s words, Taeho nodded his head and sat back down .
‘Did I do well?’ Maru thought as he stepped back . The last candidate went forward and did his free acting skit . Then, he went on to do the script acting without a hitch . Then, it just ended without a hitch as well .
“Thank you all for coming,” Hoyoung spoke as he put all the profiles to the side . The audition was over . Guided by a lady, Maru exited the room and turned in his number plate .
“Thank you for coming, and we’ll notify you whether you’ve passed or not individually . It should arrive by Thursday next week, so please be patient . ”
Maru watched as some people entered the audition room with nervous expressions before turning around . He didn’t know whether he did well or not . He had nothing to go by to make any predictions . Like what the lady said, he had no choice but to wait with his fingers crossed .
“Yes, teacher . I made a few mistakes . ”
“I’m done for . I’m in big trouble . ”
The people who took the audition with him were busy making calls . Their calls continued into the elevator .
“I don’t know . I think I didn’t pass . There were too many people . Moreover I wasn’t the only one doing the audition . ”
“Mom, I think I failed . I don’t think I need to wait for the results to know . ”
“Where’s my next audition again?”
Maru gave them a glance . Whenever his eyes met with another’s they glared back at him .
‘So, I have a high chance of passing?’
Even the guy that managed to do the script acting without a hitch had a worried expression on his face . It seemed that these guys had something to base their predictions on that Maru didn’t have .
“That was hard,” Maru spoke in a low voice . If everything was about numbers, he would be able to predict the results once the process finished . The first quarter achievements were such and such so the second quarter results should be such and such . Since the currency exchanges are such and such, the raw materials cost should be around such and such . In such a world, there weren’t that many variables . Numbers were always clear cut . However, in acting, no such thing existed . There was no absolute standard for anything, so he wasn’t able to discern whether he did well or not . If it was about self-satisfaction, he wouldn’t need to mind about the evaluations at all, but if he was to do this for a living, he would have to know the basis of evaluation . Junmin, Hoyoung, and Taeho . How were those three people going to evaluate his acting? Listening to Geunsoo’s advice of not conforming himself to the role, he sort of forced his way through the first part, but whether it was a good thing or not, he did not know . Perhaps he should have stuck to his original plan and have played the delinquent .
‘They’re infecting me with their negativity,’ he felt as though his thoughts were going the wrong direction due to all the gloomy voices around him . Maru stepped out of the elevator as soon as the doors opened and got far away from the others .
“I did my bit, the rest is up to heaven . ”
He showed all he could . It was better for him to leave the rest up to heaven for him to have some peace .
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Junmin faintly smiled as he watched the monitor . He was reminded of when that boy asked him for three hundred million won . He thought that the boy was crazy, but decided to play along after listening to the rest of his story . A year had passed since then . It seemed like the boy was going to show him something using his little high school club, but he sunk all by himself due to an injury . Junmin made a visit thinking that the boy must be very disappointed, but he was casually reading a book . Junmin did not know whether the boy was insensitive or bold .
Boys at his age could be compared to a small sailboat . With a little wind, they would sail in the direction of the boat very quickly . Many people say that the growth speed of child actors and actresses is frightening; and that a child actor with a smooth sail would smoothly become a popular actor . However, once the wind blew in the wrong direction, then they would capsize on the spot . The lack of weight caused that problem . The reason many child actors and actresses turn into ordinary students was because they could not endure that hurdle .
Before, the criticisms usually came from people close to them, but with the development of the internet, people stabbed with knives known as words on the internet . There weren’t many viewers who were lenient simply because someone was young . Horrible acting was met with insults . The important part was that people went too far . Even adults were stressed out by them, so naturally, children had it even worse . This was why acting academies and schools did not teach just teaching . They also taught humanities subjects so they could achieve mental maturity . Despite all their efforts, though, children were still children . Their emotions were much more fragile than that of an adult’s .
Meanwhile, Maru was like a giant cruise ship . He wasn’t shaken by others to the point that he reminded Junmin of a large ship . A wind strong enough to sway a sailboat would be nothing more than a gentle breeze . He had a stability like none other . That was Maru’s strong point .
However, that strong point was also his weak point . Not being shaken meant not prone to change . While others changed, whether it be progress or regress, it was likely that Maru would stay unchanged . He couldn’t be considered insensitive to external stimulation . If he was poked, he would get angry to some extent, and if someone crossed the line, he would solve all his problems cleanly . The problem was that his way of doing things was too tidy . There were no ups and downs .
Until a while ago, Maru was a ship that would never raise its sail . He would maintain his position no matter how strong the storm was . Junmin was wary about this point . Regress didn’t just refer to going backwards . In the perspective of progress, staying still was also a form of regress . As such, Junmin decided that he would estimate Maru’s potential through today’s audition once again . He wondered what kind of preparations Maru made as well as what kind of potential he would show him once again . If Maru wasn’t up to his standards, he planned to no longer allow him free reign and give instructions . After all, he did spend 300 million won to buy 3 years of his high school period . He even considered having him take acting lessons with a schedule that would affect his school .
“I was worried for nothing, huh . ”
Maru’s release of emotions that he saw through the screen was very different from the Maru he knew until now . In terms of technique, he was still lacking . The shaking of his eyes, the direction of his lips, his hand gestures . All of these still gave him away as a newbie .
However, his glare when he looked at the camera as well as the sadness and frustration his voice made all that irrelevant . His acting made the audience empathize with his emotions unconditionally . The overwhelming transfer of emotions made all acting skills irrelevant . That was because the ultimate objective of all techniques was to transfer emotions to the audience .
“Although it was for a brief moment, he released it . I’m sure of it . ”
It wasn’t that he gave his emotions total free rein . What he did was different to that . He released his emotions to the limits under the state where he knew what he had to do . He didn’t over exaggerate things . An actor crying didn’t make the audience cry with him . This was a problem that all actors faced . It was a homework that all actors had for the entirety of their career . An actor capable of making people cry without crying himself; one capable of making people laugh without laughing himself; one capable of making people angry without becoming angry himself .
Using one word to describe Maru in the footage would be ‘frightening’ . His emotions pierced through the screen and hit solidly in the hearts of the viewers . It was to the point that he thought ‘this is it!’ . The reason why Taeho stepped forward despite this being an audition should have been related to that as well .
The sail that had been folded until now finally unfurled . It was getting ready to receive the wind . He shouldn’t have made such a change voluntarily . Someone else’s words should have triggered him to make that change . That could be seen from how he released his own emotions freely without him knowing .
“Han Maru, he’s good . ”
Hearing that voice, Junmin turned around . A woman with purple hair and a foul mouth stood there . It was Joohyun . Due to some scheduling issues between the director and the actors, all the main actors had been called . Joohyun was also here for that reason .
“You know him?”
“I do . I met him once . I got a feeling when he retorted to everything I said – that this kid is an interesting kid . That’s why I told him a few things . ”
“I told him to get to the bottom of his emotions . I also told him a few other things, but from what I saw just now, he seemed to have ignored everything he deemed unnecessary . What a cheeky kid . He acted as though he didn’t ever need any advice . He’ll become a good politician once he grows up,” saying that, Joohyun turned around as she sipped on her coffee . Junmin inwardly smiled . Ordinary wind couldn’t shake him, so this meant that the wind that shook him was that strong . Someone like Joohyun would be a hurricane . She had plenty of power to shake a cruise ship .
“So he’ll only open his ears to someone of that level, huh . ”
He was a cheeky guy indeed . That made him all the more interesting .
“Perhaps he might become an extra who will overpower any ordinary minor role . ”
The scene where the delinquent appeared was very brief, and because it was brief, it was strong . Junmin wrote ‘pass’ on the profile . Two of the three delinquents were finalized . Since these two were the only ones who had lines to say, he could just make compromises on the final one .
“Well, then . Who do I give the trigger to?”
Junmin grabbed two profiles in his hands . One had the name ‘Han Maru’ on it, while the other read ‘Yoo Jiseok’ . His eyes were filled with joy as he looked at the two profiles .
* * * *
“You brought nothing?”
Tossing a slice of cake to his sister, he returned to his room . He felt tired despite not having done much . He felt as though he released all of his piled up energy . Maru closed the curtains, turned off the lights and laid down on his bed . He thought about calling her, but felt drowsiness overwhelm him . He thought that he should sleep first .
As his eyes closed shut, he saw the faintly glowing glow-in-the-dark sticker . It was a half-moon . Even though it shouldn’t be capable of giving off its own light, the moon was shining by itself right now .
After he closed his eyes, Maru saw that dream stage that he saw once before . There was a man wearing a mask that was a messy mixture of black and white . Back then, only that man was on the stage, and he was watching from the audience seats .
However, right now, Maru was looking at the man on the same stage as him .
“You got closer,” the man spoke with a smile .
Maru shrugged his shoulders .
“Well, things happened . ”
“Yes, things happen to everyone,” the masked man spoke once again .